Amin’s NXT TakeOver: Portland Review: Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa for the NXT Title


The show opened with music sensation Poppy performing her song “Fill the Crown” from her album I Disagree


The crowd sang for Lee as he got a big reaction. The fireworks started early as Lee delivered a Hurricanrana which got a big pop. Dijakovic went for a Fosbury Flop but Lee caught him on the landing which got a pop. Dijakovic planted Lee with an overhead suplex on the ring apron. Lee avoided a suplex and delivered a standing German Suplex for a two count. Dijakovic delivered a Cyclone Boot and a Corkscrew Splash but Lee kicked out as the crowd chanted “NXT.” Dijakovic delivered an Avalanche Rolling DVD but Lee kicked out for a close two count. The crowd popped as Lee placed Dijakovic on a chair and delivered massive palm strikes. Dijakovic delivered a Superkick and then placed Lee on a chair. Dijakovic delivered a Springboard Tope Con Hilo to Lee on a seated chair as the crowd chanted “Mama Mia.” Lee made a comeback as he called for the Spirt Bomb but Dijakovic landed on his feet as the crowd erupted. Lee avoided a PK and delivered a Sprit Bomb for a close two count. They battled on the turnbuckle as Dijakovic delivered an Avalanche Spanish Fly for a close two count. Dijakovic called for Feast Your Eyes but couldn’t get Lee up. Lee hit the Big Bang Catastrophe for the 1,2,3


Lee and Dijakovic shared a hug. Lee told Dijakovic to pose on the turnbuckle. Dijakovic and Lee posed to a big pop

(Amin’s AnalysisThis was just sensational as they were some amazing moments as both Dijakovic and Lee worked a great pace match as they had the fans buzzing till the finish.)


Kai attacked Nox on the entrance ramp. They brawled in the crowd as Nox speared Kai through the barricade. Kai delivered a DDT to Nox on the floor. Nox moved as Kai smashed a Cricket Bat against the ring post. Nox placed a trash can over Kai and followed with a cannonball into the ring steps. Nox nailed Kai with a Triple Superkick. Nox planted Kai with a German Suplex onto a trash can for a two count. Kai avoided the Shinest Wizard and hit the Kai-Ro-Practor for a two count. They battled on the turnbuckle as Nox delivered a Super Chokeslam and then hit a Molly-go-Round for a two count. Kai tapped Nox’s hand around the ring post and then nailed her with a pair of Pump Kicks. Nox whacked Kai with her knee barricade and then whipped her with a chain. Nox placed a chair around Kai’s knee and stomped on it. Nox nailed Kai with the Shinest Wizard, had the match won but didn’t go for a cover. Nox placed Kai on a table but suddenly Raquel Gonzales appeared. Gonzales might have missed her spot as she delivered a Popup Spinebuster as Nox head hit the edge of the table which didn’t break. This looked rough. Kai pinned Nox for the 1,2,3

WINNER: DAKOTA KAI (⭐️⭐️⭐️1/4)

Gonzalez entered the ring and raised Kai’s hand who looked confused

(Amin’s Analysis: This was a solid match as there were some creative spots as both Kai and Nox worked hard. The finish was flat as Kai still hasn’t had a strong win since turning heel. Let’s hold out and see where this pairing of Kai and Gongalzes goes.)


Balor and Gargano got big reactions. Balor delivered running chops. Gargano speared Balor on the ring apron. Gargano charged but Balor caught him with a Slingblade and then hit a basement dropkick for a two count. Balor blocked a running enzuigiri and delivered a draping Dragon Screw. Balor applied an inverted Figure-4-Leg Lock but Gargano broke free. Gargano delivered a cannonball to the floor and then hit a Slingshot Spear for a two count. There was a nice counter exchange as Balor hit a Final Cut for a two count. Gargano long-darted Balor into the turnbuckle. Balor hit a Pele Kick but Gargano landed on top of him for a two count. Gargano avoided a draping Coup De Grace and hit a Thunderstruck DDT for a two count. They had an awesome stare down as Balor hit a Slingblade and a Woo Dropkick. Gargano avoided the Coup De Grace, applied the Gargano Escape but Balor broke free. Gargano reapplied the Gargano Escape but Balor grabbed the ropes. The crowd chanted Fight Forever as Gargano hit Woo Dropkick sending Balor crashing into the barricade which got a mixed reaction. Gargano teased a 1916 but Balor countered by planting him on the announcers table. There was an awesome spot as Balor ran across the announcers table and hit a great Woo Dropkick sending Gargano crashing into the barricade. Balor crushed Gargano with a Coup De Grace. Balor did the BC Pose and then planted Gargano with an elevated 1916 DDT for the 1,2,3.

WINNER: FINN BALOR (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2)

(Amin’s Analysis: This was just terrific as both Balor and Gargano worked a perfect pace leading to the finish as the crowd was buzzing. Gargano is just awesome and always delivers a memorable TakeOver: match. Balor has been superb since returning to NXT as he has shined as a heel. It will be interesting to see who Balor faces next as I think he should challenge for the NXT Title during WrestleMania weekend.)


The match started with some mat wrestling. BeLair took control early as she hit a standing Moonsault for a near fall. Ripley delivered a face buster for a two count. Ripley applied an inverted Texas Cloverleaf but BeLair broke free. BeLair delivered a Spinebuster for a two count. The crowd popped as BeLair and Ripley exchanged vicious slaps. BeLair whipped Ripley with her ponytail and then popped the crowd after hitting a military press. Ripley delivered a running boot but BeLair responded with a spear for a double down. The crowd chanted “Women’s Wrestling” as Ripley avoided a hair whip and nailed BeLair with a Screw Kick. Ripley charged but Belair backdropped her to the floor. BeLair followed by hitting a Slingshot Cannonball Senton as Nigel noted it was an awkward landing. Ripley planted BeLair on the ring steps. The finish came when Ripley yanked BeLair off the turnbuckle and delivered the RipTide for the 1,2,3.


Charlotte Flair attacked Ripley after the match and accepted Ripley’s challenge at WrestleMania. Charlotte delivered Natural Selection and then posed with the NXT Women’s Title. Charlotte rammed BeLair into the ring steps and walked away

(Amin’s Analysis: A solid wrestling match as both BeLair and Ripley worked hard. The post-match was perfect as Charlotte Flair overshadowed the NXT Women’s Title Match and stood tall again. AEW is beating NXT in the ratings for most weeks so WWE responded by having a Raw star compete for the NXT Women’s Title. If my favourite Io Shirai is back she should be added to the match as well. If BeLair can get another title match why can’t my favorite Io Shirai get one?)


Dunne and Riddle came out to a big reaction in their BroMobile. Riddle led the crowd in singing his jingle about Bobby Fish frying fish. Fish and O’Reilly were irate as a brawl broke out on the entrance ramp. Dunne delivered an X-Plex to O’Reilly onto Fish on the ring apron. Fish and O’Reilly took control after they isolated Dunne in their corner. Riddle eventually got the hot tag after O’Reilly mistakenly booted Fish. Riddle delivered a pair of Exploder Suplex and BroTons to Fish and O’Reilly. Riddle planted Fish with a Fisherman’s Buster and delivered a bridging German Suplex to O’Reilly for a two count. Riddle went for the Floating Bro but O’Reilly got his knees up. Riddle and O’Reilly had a great counter exchange as the crowd chanted “NXT.” Riddle speared Fish on the floor. Riddle went for the BroHammer but Fish stopped him by delivering a chop block. Fish and O’Reilly delivered a Wheelbarrow DDT/German Suplex combo to Riddle for a two count. UE placed the BroserWeights in stereo submissions but Riddle broke free. Fish delivered a Super Exploder Suplex to Riddle as O’Reilly followed by delivering a flying knee drop. O’Reilly applied a knee bar but Dunne made the save by snapping Fish fingers and then stomped on O’Reilly’s hand. The crowd chanted “This is Awesome” as O’Reilly moved as Riddle speared Dunne. UE delivered Chasing The Dragon but Dunne kicked out for a great near fall. Dunne landed on his feet on a suplex as Riddle tagged back in. Riddle nailed Fish with a Final Flash Knee. Dunne and Riddle delivered a Knee strike/Powerbomb combo. Dunne and Riddle delivered the Bro To Sleep/Jumping Enzugiri combo to Fish for the 1,2,3.


(Amin’s Analysis: Another great match as there were some terrific sequences leading to the finish. Really enjoyed the tease of the miss-communication spots but it worked as it didn’t lead to the predictable finish. Fish and O’Reilly are just the perfect tag team. This was the right finish as Dunne & Riddle have been awesome together as they styles mesh perfectly.)


The crowd was split as they chanted for both Ciampa and Cole as the match began with a nice series of counter exchanges. Ciampa placed Cole on a chair and nailed him with a running knee and then applauded his work as the crowd popped huge. Ciampa draped Cole across the ring apron and barricade as he delivered stereo knee strikes. Cole bounced back as he delivered a Wheelbarrow German Suplex sending Ciampa neck first on the announcers table as the crowd chanted “Holy S*it.” Cole took control as he applied a seated head scissors. Ciampa made a comeback as he hit a German Suplex, a running knee and followed with a Spinning Powerbomb for a two count. Cole bounced back with a Baizuke Knee and then hit an Ushigorishi for a two count. They battled on the turnbuckle as Ciampa avoided a Panama Sunrise and hit a Super Air Raid Crash for a close two count. The actioned spilled to the floor as Ciampa planted Cole with a pair of Powerbombs sending Cole crashing through an announcers table. Ciampa delivered Project Ciampa but Cole kicked out as the crowd chanted “Fight Forever.” Cole and Ciampa had a great Boo-Yay strike exchange. Cole went for a tope but Ciampa caught him with a rising knee. We got more chants of “NXT.” Cole made a comeback as he spiked Ciampa with a Slingshot Panama Sunrise and followed with an Ushigorishi for a two count. The crowd chanted for both Ciampa and Cole. Cole delivered a pair of Superkicks and then delivered the Last Shot but Ciampa rolled to the ring apron. There was a crazy spot as Ciampa blocked a Panama Sunrise and planted Cole with an Air Raid Crash on the ring apron as the crowd chanted “Mama Mia.” The action raged on as Cole leaped off the announcers table and delivered a Panama Sunrise to Ciampa on the floor. That was crazy. What was even more crazy as upon tossing Ciampa back into the ring he planted Cole with Willow’s Bell. The match reached the next level here as Ciampa followed by hitting Fairytale’s Ending but Cole kicked out for an awesome near fall. The crowd chanted “This is Awesome.” Ciampa broke free of a Crossface and applied an STF but Cole grabbed the ropes. Roderick Strong ran out as Fish and O’Reilly delivered Total Elimination to Ciampa on the floor. Cole went for a cover but Ciampa kicked out for a great near fall. Ciampa backdropped Cole onto Fish and O’Reilly on the floor. Ciampa planted Strong with Willow’s Bell. Cole delivered a Triple Superkick and followed with the Last Shot but Ciampa kicked out for a crazy near fall. Cole showed Ciampa into the referee. Cole delivered a low blow. Cole called for the Panama Sunrise but Ciampa countered by hitting a low blow. Ciampa planted Cole with the Fairytale’s Ending, had the match won as the crowd counted loudly along to the cover but the referee was out. Strong place the NXT Title into the ring. Cole went for the title but Ciampa stopped him. Ciampa went to grab the NXT Title but Gargano appeared and yanked the title from him. Gargano hesitated but then nailed Ciampa with the NXT Title. (This was just awesome as it was the exact same post as how Gargano accidentally helped Ciampa beat Aleister Black to win his first NXT Title.) Cole covered Ciampa as the referee counted 1,2,3


Gargano walked to the back as UE posed on the ring apron as the show came to a close.

(Amin’s Analysis: Let me say the finish was flat and I’m not a fan of referee bumps. Having said that, I didn’t mind because they are telling a bigger story as a heel turn for Gargano was much needed after his loss to Balor and the renewed program with Ciampa which will be awesome. Overall, this was just a sensational match as there were some great sequences and awesome near falls leading to the finish as Cole and Ciampa worked a perfectly paced match. A terrific match to cap an excellent show.) 

[Overall Thoughts] A terrific show filled with great pro wrestling matches. The show also set up some big angles coming out of the show. It will be interesting to see what are the big programs leading into NXT TakeOver: Tampa Bay. I’m hoping my favourite Io Shirai returns soon and gets an NXT Women’s Championship match at TakeOver: Tampa Bay or get added to the WrestleMania title match. Overall, a thumbs up show.

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